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McLaren F1's Missteps Insight from Racing Vets

Norris’s Reflection Gap: Ex-Drivers Judge F1 Tactics

09/07/2024

Experts weigh in on Norris’s strategic lapses against F1 titans Verstappen and Hamilton.

Dr. Helmut Marko acknowledged at Silverstone that Hamilton fully deserved the win after a three-year drought. The Red Bull consultant praised the Mercedes F1 driver’s effort to secure victory on home soil.

“His tire management skills were evident, showcasing his continuing experience and speed,” Marko stated, pleasing his compatriot Toto Wolff, the Mercedes director.

“It’s always nice to receive feedback from someone who knows what they’re doing,” Wolff commented upon hearing Marko’s praise.

“And Helmut knows what he’s doing. The fierce rivalry takes a back seat, as we are two Austrians supporting each other in tough times.”

Lando Norris, the day’s big loser due to failed strategic decisions, couldn’t hide his immediate disappointment after the Silverstone race, pointing the finger at both the team and himself for “not quite doing the job we should have done” with key strategic choices.

When asked if he was personally “ready” to regularly beat drivers like Hamilton and Verstappen, Norris expressed doubts: “I don’t know. I’m not making the right decisions. I hate that I don’t. I hate ending up in this position and always having excuses for not doing a good enough job.”

“Far too many mistakes” to aim for the title?

Former F1 driver Christijan Albers stated that the decisive involvement in key strategic choices shown by Verstappen and Hamilton on Sunday is “the key difference with a Lewis or a Max.”

“They just decide,” he told De Telegraaf. “Norris is a huge talent, no doubt, and there’s no need to argue about that. But he simply doesn’t have the same level of reflection and intuition as Lewis and Max.”

“He hasn’t reached that level yet. He’s still making a lot of mistakes. Max and Lewis’s times also fluctuated by about a tenth, but with Norris, it was different. He wasn’t consistent.”

Another former F1 driver, Ralf Schumacher, believes that while McLaren is returning to top team status after a difficult period, the Woking-based team is also showing its immaturity.

“It’s a matter of mutual support between the driver and the team,” he told Motorsport-Total, referring to McLaren’s failed strategic decisions on Sunday. “The driver and the team need to exchange information. How did that go in this case?”

“I don’t think Lando Norris is ready for such a fight yet. It might also be a structural problem. Perhaps Norris simply doesn’t have a strong enough race engineer.”

“He’s also very young. We’ve seen how angry he was with himself, with the bad decisions he made, and that he wants to continue to grow. And yes, these moments are part of the growth process.”

McLaren F1's Missteps Insight from Racing Vets

McLaren F1’s Missteps: Insight from Racing Vets McLaren F1’s Missteps: Insight from Racing Vets

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